Massive congestion at the Beitbridge border post continues with returnees from South Africa spending up to two days at the border.
This is despite the fact that official statistics are showing that Christmas period traffic has declined by almost 70 per cent this year compared to previous years. A border official said:
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Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the border used to handle at least 30 000 travellers per day and currently, the average figure is 6 500.
The issue of implementing curfew regulations and slow COVID-19 screening has caused a lot of chaos.
The implementation of the curfew on the South African side of the border which runs between 10 PM and 4 AM coupled with strict coronavirus screening is slowing the movement of traffic into either country.
After 10 PM only commercial cargo is allowed to travel through Beitbridge Border Post, resulting in vehicles piling up on either side of the border.
Motorists and cross-border transporters told the Chronicle that there is “a crisis” at the border post as they have to wait for long hours in queues even after clearing everything.
There are concerns that thousands of families who rely on groceries from South Africa will spend Christmas without food as commercial cargo is also piling up on either side of the border.